14th Annual Zurich Trauma Days
Left and Right Hemispheres


Date: 28 – 30 June 2024
Time: each 10:00–17:30

Teacher: Marianne Bentzen (DK)
Annette Hemmerich (DE)
Dr. med Fritz Helmut Hemmerich (DE)
Dr. Peter A. Levine (USA)
Language: English translated into German
German translated into English
Costs: CHF 890.00

Day passes at 320 CHF available in limited numbers

Course location: Kirchgemeindehaus Oberstrass
Winterthurerstrasse 25
8006 Zürich

Tram- and bus-stop is called "Seilbahn Rigiblick"

Dr. Peter A. Levine, Marianne Bentzen,
Annette Hemmerich, Dr. med. Fritz Helmut Hemmerich

Friday: 10.15 am - 1 pm
Ways of remembering the hemispheric dialogs

Annette Hemmerich und Dr. Fritz Helmut Hemmerich (DE)

With regard to their function and structure there is only a slight difference between the two hemispheres of the brain, despite any pop-psychological claims to the contrary. However, these differences are highly significant in HOW they perform these functions. Traumas fragment us. Trauma healing is the reintegration of the dissociated parts - which can be split-off memories, stifled movement impulses, buried or silted-up sources of energy, lost life plans ... and what will be pivotal this morning: a rupture in the attunement and cooperation of the ways in which the two hemispheres of the brain function, which – in a healthy state - complement and enhance each other. Together with the participants of the Trauma Days, the Hemmerichs want to explore and discover how everyone can contribute to "remembering".

The two facilitators will introduce Anafonesis, a voice method that has been tried and tested for 40 years to strengthen the body. Together with the participants they will practise improving the hemispheric "dialog" and allowing the implicit life energy to unfold. In this approach, unbiased listening as perception training is the gateway to a coherent experience of the present.

Friday: 2.30  pm - 5.30 pm
Knowledge and Wisdom

Marianne Bentzen (DK)

The right hemisphere experiences our deep-rooted and true connection to the world. It is the first part of our brains that mature. It is also our deepest resource. The right hemisphere develops during the first couple of years and strengthens during adult life. It is also the constant seat of wisdom and insight. However, from around 2-3 years, the verbal left hemisphere develops and accumulates knowledge, and we begin to trust our inner maps more that the reality that they represent. A simple way of putting this is: Some people check whether it is raining by reading the newspaper … others look out the window! In this afternoon, we will start with a bit of theory and then work with awareness, interaction exercises and meditative experience.

Saturday: 10 pm - 1 pm

Peter A. Levine, PhD (USA)

There has been a great deal of interest in the “horizontal” relationship between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. However, there is a lack of understanding of the inter-connection between the more primitive portions of the brain (the instinctual brain stem and limbic system) and the most refined parts of the cerebral cortex. In this presentation we will explore this “vertical” integration with brain theory, experiential exercises, and demonstration.

Saturday: 2.30 pm - 5.30 pm
Trauma-related survival techniques between obstacle and springboard

Annette Hemmerich und Dr. Fritz Helmut Hemmerich (DE)

Trauma can be a source of suffering or a driver of personal growth and development. The critical pivotal point here is how we deal with the survival techniques that have shaped us, which have enabled us to survive the trauma situation(s) and which can become an obstacle or springboard in the present. In the present moment, the consequences of the traumatic impact act as conditionings which determine the person’s responses. It is in precisely this short interval between trigger and reaction that people need a tool that can create enough leeway to allow self-determining responses to successfully unfold. At the same time, the conditioning is prevented from being deepened by retraumatizing reactions. This is how brain yoga can succeed: to unite what has been traumatically shattered into a "dual-chamber psyche".

The practical part of this sequence focuses on a feedback breathing technique that can make a modest yet important contribution to creating this space. The attendees are invited to participate in exploring this space.

Sunday: 10 am - 1 pm
Optimized coordination in adulthood

Marianne Bentzen (DK)

When both right and left hemispheres have developed and are working together in a balanced way, wisdom may develop. This usually happens later in life, since the hemispheres cooperate more from middle adulthood. Components of wisdom include empathy, compassion, personal ethics, altruism, emotional stability, self-understanding and a tolerance for others’ values. These abilities tend to grow with age, but can be cultivated from early childhood as well. All of these skills begin in the deep wordless spaces of the body and in our own ability to hold them in our awareness without being identified with them. This morning we will work with theory, awareness, meditative experience, interaction exercises and dialogue.

Sunday: 2.30 pm - 4.45 pm

Peter A. Levine, PhD (USA)

In his second block, Dr. Peter A. Levine broadens the perspective in the direction of coherent brain physiology and optimized networking of the various horizontal and vertical zones. The interplay of "bottom-up" and "right-left" and the resulting implications for the clinical care of traumatized people are also the focus of this last block of the 14th Annual Zurich Trauma Days.

Sunday 4.45 pm - 5.30 pm
Panel and Open Space with all presenters
Facilitator: Dr. Urs Honauer

Marianne Bentzen

Marianne Bentzen is a somatic psychotherapist and author. She has also taught and supervised mental health professionals internationally since 1982. She has presented at more than forty international and national conferences and written numerous articles and books. Since the early 1990s, she has developed the theory of Neuroaffective Developmental Psychology (NADP), which bridges personality …

Annette Hemmerich

As an art therapist, it has fascinated and inspired me from the very beginning to accompany people on their way to getting closer to themselves. To constantly re-immersion myself in each individual's very own world, visual language and form of expression and to gradually find ways out of patterns and one-sidedness together with them: to encourage them to dare and endure the tension and challenge …

Dr. med Fritz Helmut Hemmerich

Dr. Fritz Helmut Hemmerich has moved and researched a great deal in his rich life and work. For decades, the 70-year-old doctor and philosopher devoted himself to the secrets of life and the human body. Trauma solutions and burnout were the focal points of his biographical development. His work as a senior and head physician in Germany led him to his own professional life's work, a salutogenesis …

Dr. Peter A. Levine

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. (USA) is the originator and developer of Somatic Experiencing® and the President of the Foundation for Human Enrichment. He holds doctorate degrees in both Medical Biophysics and Psychology. During his forty plus year study of stress and trauma, Dr. Levine has contributed to a variety of scientific, medical, and popular publications. His best selling book, Waking the …

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